Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Château I bought and renovated

Front of the Chateau

Opening of gates
Narrow road on side of the Chateau

Original stone staircase was covered with concrete which we removed

Preparing dinner

Lounging in the sitting room
Pretty master bath
Guest bedroom
Hidden room was discovered in the attic and turned into another guest room

View from the living room overlooking the outdoor dining room and guest cottage

Entry with original 15th century door

View of the Chateau and village houses nearby

Valentino dinnerware

Shortly these plates will be full of delicious tastes

Three walled garden
In 1998 I bought a ruin of a fifteenth century Chateau and with the help of a Beaux-Arts architect, turned it into the jewel you see in the pictures above. It is in the Perigord, aka Dordogne, region of beautiful Southwest France, close to the vineyards where the lovely Pomerol and Saint Emilion wines are produced.

The region is known for its black truffles and foie gras. I have gone truffle hunting on the estate of good friends who have many oak trees under which the truffles grow. The farmer arrives with his pig and as soon as the pig finds a truffle, the farmer distracts him with a treat and he picks up the truffle. I have been honored to hold the leather sack in which the truffles are placed for safe keeping. The price of truffles can be as much as 2000 euros per kilo.

My life here is full, having many friends and family coming to visit. No one leaves hungry as many regional meals are prepared including the famous "truffe", canard, foie gras, cantal and brebis cheese and of course clafoutis cerise for dessert.

La vie est belle!!!!!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


The night before I left for France I went to Nobu with friends. We ordered the whole fish which was amazing. Here's before and after.

Five Minute Makeup

I have figured out how to do my makeup in five minutes. Sometimes that's all the time I have and now there's no excuse for going out without my face on.

The secret is to put ONE of each item, lipstick, blush, mascara, foundation or whatever else you use in a small box. Keep the box under your sink and pull it out to do your quick make up. You have no choices to make, nothing to think about and you can rotate the items as you wish.

The box is perfect for traveling, just put a rubber band around it (I keep one in the box) pop it in your suitcase and go.

Try it, I think you will agree it works.


Home baked scones. Tea towel is vintage Audrey.
Monet's Garden captured in these teacups and featured below.

Almost every day between 4 and 5 it's teatime in France.
The idea is to eat something to hold you over for a late light supper as lunch is the primary meal of the day.
I love to serve in my beautiful "Giverny" tea set which I brought back from Paris. I have two patterns, one that looks like the water lilies and the other is blue and yellow like Monet's kitchen.
Typically, something sweet and something savory is served. I love to do scones and open faced smoked salmon or cucumber sandwiches.
Last summer we went to Giverny to see Monet's beautiful home and gardens. It is about an hour outside of Paris and well worth visiting.
Every time I use this tea service I am reminded of my first visit to Giverny.
A la prochaine

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Typical morning

After having my usual breakfast at the Bar du Midi, I did some shopping in the village. Of course the boulangerie was a normal stop and today they had some lovely cakes.
I resisted the urge to buy a cake and instead went to the new gym. It just opened up and was exactly what I needed.
I shall make this a regular visit a few times a week. This is the first gym in the area and many of us have been waiting for it to open.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

French Macaroons

Today I found out that Amanda is coming to Paris. I know how much she loves to bake so I signed us up for a workshop at La Cordon Bleu Paris to make macaroons. It won't be until next month but I will be sure to send photos of ours. Those pictured above are not made by us.........
Until then I will continue going to Laduree for the best macaroons in Paris.
Bon appetit!!!!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

About Me

My birthday party at Ivy at the Shore in Santa Monica, California. The party was given for me by my children and so many of my close friends were there to help celebrate.

Just leaving the Brasserie Bofinger in Paris.

Walking to my apartment on L' ile Saint Louis, Paris.

I am getting ready to write my story. When I am asked where I live, it's not a one word answer. When I am asked what I do in France, it's also a lengthy answer. By reading my blog, I can tell you where I am, where I have been and what I am doing.
I have led a life full of pleasures and I treasure each and every one of them. Please check My Story for all the details.

pictures of Skye taken by David

It's wonderful to have talented, professional family members.

Good neighbors

Katie and David at the bar.....
Fabulous Fabrice
Locals enjoying the brew

Viva la France where dogs are allowed everywhere.
View of my street

Marie and her bar..... Marie is Fabrice's MOM.

My house in La Tour Blanche is in the village across the street from the local bar/tobacco shop/newsstand and place to buy lottery tickets.

The other night, around 9PM there was a knock on the front door. It was Fabrice, inviting us to have a drink with him. Without missing a beat, we shut off the stove, stopped cooking the gnocci, grabbed the dog and went with him to the bar.

It was so nice.

Diner Morocain

Pretty in pink.
Ralph Lauren hand tooled leather placemat vintage Audrey
My dining room chairs are from Anthropoligie and I had them shipped from Dallas to France. They make quite a statement.

Arrangement made of purple artichokes, red cabbage, little purple flowers, eggplant and red amaryllis.

Table is set with Ralph Lauren placemats, dishes from Provence, France, silverware is Grand Baroque by Wallace and the napkins are Colin Cowie for Lenox vintage Audrey.

There were 8 of us for dinner and I tried as hard as I could to make it an authentic Moroccan meal. The main course was chicken and the side dishes were tomato/cucumber salad, carrot salad and lentil salad. The cous-cous was brought by my friend Wendy.

We started with samosas and gougeres (little french cheese puffs). These were accompanied by pink champagne, two bottles of which was polished off very quickly.
All recipes will be published on my sidebar if you are interested.

We proceeded into the dining room and the last guests stayed into the wee hours of the morning.

Since David and Katie left on the 7:30 train to Paris next morning and then onto their flight to Los Angeles, we didn't get much sleep that night.

A great time was had by all.

A "must do" after market

Always, after shopping the market, we stop for something hot to drink at Cafe des Colonnes. This day was no different. I had a cafe creme, David and Katie had hot chocolate Yum Yum!!!!!